The Unbearable Banishment: Mind Meld

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mind Meld

7-Year Old Daughter had the day off from school so I took a vacation day and brought her into the city. The brainwashing program that I have been developing since her birth is officially underway. My intention is to raise her with the notion that New York City is not a loud, foul, occasionally dangerous place (which it is). Rather, I would have her grow up believing that the city is filled with opportunity and hidden beauty.

We went to the Museum of Modern Art for the Van Gough and the Colors of the Night exhibit. It's a series of paintings whereby Van Gough uses light to convey night. It’s a fairly small show—about 30 paintings in four galleries—and it was PACKED. Van Gough always draws a big crowd. I had to pick her up on a few occasions so she could see the paintings over the heads of the crowd. She was able to name Starry Night on sight, which is a good sign.

My favorite was The Sower with its green luminescent sky.

I met Sharon there. She’s an artist. I have always advocated visiting an art museum with an artist in tow because that way, you get your ignorant ass schooled. She spoke of brush stroke techniques, history and influences. Daughter got much more out of the trip than if I had brought her by myself.

Here she is trying to make sense of Pollock’s drip masterpiece.

And here she is contemplating one panel of Monet’s water lilies triptych.

Here, I’m trying to convince her that although painting a soup can is not difficult from a technical standpoint, successfully convincing people that it’s legitimate art is an innovation.

After the museum, I fed Daughter her very first New York City dirty water hot dog. I know what you’re thinking, but I had to do it. It’s part of my brainwashing program. Nurse H met us for lunch. She always makes a big fuss over Daughter. Daughter, being a megalomaniac, is always especially pleased to see her. I wish I could spend my days doing stuff like this and not waste so much precious time chained to a desk doing work that is only occasionally inspiring. My plight is not unique. It’s part of the human condition.



Anonymous A Free Man said...

Wonderful post. It's a good goal, show our children the beauty in places that aren't necessarily intrinsically beautiful. Fortunately for you, in my experience, NYC is a place of wonder. Glad I stumbled on to your site.

October 21, 2008 at 2:27 AM  
Blogger bob said...

I wish I could spend my days doing stuff like this and not waste so much precious time chained to a desk doing work that is only occasionally inspiring.'

Careful what you wish for ... the crunch is far from over.

Hey, do they have a 'Young Rembrandts' program anywhere near y'all? My sister used to teach one and it's kind of briliant for the wee ones.

October 21, 2008 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger sid said...

Never been to an art gallery in Cape Town yet it is all I did in Italy. Hmmm I really should make a plan to do this.

October 21, 2008 at 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Monet room. I never realized how huge those paintings were until I visited MOMA. That was ages ago though.

I loved NYC the couple times I was there. I rode the subway and walked everywhere. I was staying with a friend and she was horrified by my casual way of wandering about as if the city was not a potential hazard to my country mouse self.

October 21, 2008 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

Lucky daughter and you.

Could think of a lot worse things to be indoctrinated with then the wonderful museums and galleries in NY.

Thought of Ferris Bueller when looking at the picture of her admiring the artwork.

Jackson Pollock rocks.

October 21, 2008 at 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't add much to all the "good plan" posts here except I saw a couple of Van Goghs at an impressionism exhibit, at SAM. The more famous of the too was the "Night at the Cafe in Paris" (Not sure if that's the correct title, but gets my point across...) I was blown away by how the colours jumped off the canvas. There's no comparison with this and simply seeing it on a book. Big ditto on Pollock.

So...kudos to you for getting your kid an earlier start on this kind of humanities indoctrination on an earlier age!


October 21, 2008 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

free: Glad you found this mess. And I’m happy to see you cast a vote for NYC. Many folks think this place is just a dump. It isn’t.

bob: Thanks for the bleak reminder. Pal.

sid: If you have an art museum within reach but haven’t visited, you should fix that straight away. There’s nothing worse than a lost opportunity.

annie: When you stand in front of the three panels of Monet’s water lilies, they swallow you up.

digital: A+ on the Ferris Bueller reference! Right you are!

sonny: Sharon, my artist friend who accompanied us, describes Van Gogh’s paintings as “juicy.” How perfect is that!? Especially when see them in person and realize how thick the paint was slathered on the canvas.

October 21, 2008 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone should be exposed to an NYC dirty water dog. There awesome! The arts good too.

October 21, 2008 at 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say while the art is impressive; I enjoyed the photo of you and 7 yr. old more. I never thought you would even have kids much less be such a great dad!
Thumbs up to you!

October 22, 2008 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

MT: Nobody is more surprised about that development than I am.

October 22, 2008 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful... forgot The Sower, and i would love to see that one in person... (sigh)

Your 7 year old has already been immersed in more art/culture than i have for the past decade... Lucky kid!

October 23, 2008 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Hall said...

Remember, UB, the whole point of keeping our kids locked in whitebread suburban conformist hell in the first place is so one day they'll grow up, rebel, and flee the Dead Zone back to the miracles of urban life, and not mind spending the GDP of a small nation every month for the privilege of stepping over bag people.

October 26, 2008 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger monyaka_a said...

haha, this was an awesome post.

October 26, 2008 at 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

I wish I could spend my days doing stuff like this and not waste so much precious time chained to a desk doing work that is only occasionally inspiring. My plight is not unique. It’s part of the human condition.

Thou spakest truth here Unbearable.

It is delightful to see that you find joy in these times with your daughter. There are many fathers who would or do not.

December 4, 2008 at 11:12 PM  

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